He received his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Helsinki under supervision of Prof. Juho Rousu and Prof. Esko Ukkonen. He holds the title of Docent (Adjunct Professor) in Bioinformatics at the University of Helsinki. Dr. Pitkänen completed two postdoctoral periods, first with Prof. Lauri Aaltonen at the University of Helsinki, and second with Dr. Jan Korbel and Dr. Oliver Stegle at European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg.
Dr. Pitkänen’s new research group at FIMM develops novel machine learning and computational methods for biomedicine. The group focuses on deep learning with emphasis on integrative and scalable multimodal techniques well-suited for large-scale biomedical data. Specific application areas are cancer genetics and genomics, mutational processes in cancer and hematological malignancies. The group develops and maintains close collaboration with researchers and clinicians at the Academic Medical Center Helsinki campus, the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, and at EMBL and DKFZ. Dr. Pitkänen is a member of the international Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) consortium, where whole-genome sequences of >2,700 cancers across 39 tumor types have been analyzed.